Of course, to the people of Manchester, Purple Heart Parade need no introduction. Having played so often in the Northern Quarter they are as ubiquitous as overpriced continental lager and shops full of designer tat. It is time the rest of the country wised up to the deal and with their debut album hopefully landing this year, a bag of storming London shows under their belts and a late night slot at Cosmosis 2015, the recognition they deserve will surely follow.
Like a WWII war movie commando team, Purple Heart Parade are assembled from four experts of their respective crafts.
Pete PHP is a man of star quality. He inhabits the stage like a rogue Richard Ashcroft. Like the stars of old, you can’t imagine him doing mundane everyday tasks. You can’t imagine Johnny Thunders eating toast in the morning can you? Same with Pete, he occupies the position of music dude. Sauntering around the stage, the words nearly incomprehensible, he owns the space.
On guitar, in space, Mike Bee. The Master-Blaster of the Stratocaster. The man to whom the stratosphere is a pit stop on the way to euphoria. Mike’s guitar playing elevates their music from psych-gaze into (i) rock, redefined as liquid fire (ii) heat-haze blues.
Mike can take a song and detonate it with a series of controlled explosions, or take a song and caresses it until it slips sideways into your subconscious. Mike is building on his heroics with The 66, who left behind a handful of magic, such as the incendiary ‘The Hidden Glove’ (click), one of the key North Western fireworks of the 21st century.
Steve on bass is the quiet man of the band but large on presence. He’s probably their version of the Bunnymen’s Les Pattinson, never gaining the attention but look what happened after he left…
Keith P on drums. Not only one of Manchester’s best drummers but acclaimed as one of it’s nicest geezers too. Keith’s style is all over the place, in a good way; tribal and thumping, subtle and jazzy, disco and dance-y. You never quite know just where he’ll propel Purple Heart Parade.
The impressive thing is that while they work together to make a huge unified noise there is space for each member to shine. At Cosmosis 2014 the gig belonged to Mike, whose ninja level riffage shook Antwerp Mansion to it’s rusted foundations and revealed many of BJM copy cats as limp wristed dullards. At Gullivers last June, Keith put in a masterful shift on drums. And what about the Night & Day Café? Where, Pete, irked from dodgy sound, put in a tempestuous display that resulted in the ad-lib that has now become the bands mantra: “feedback to fuck”. Or when he jumped down from the tiny stage at the Eagle Inn to the equally tiny floor and curled up on the floor like a dwelling mollusc?
When ‘Starfucker Blues’ fires up, heads turn, ears prick up, adrenaline soars. It’s their calling card and highest explosive (click to watch). ‘The Room’ raptures, rising from the ribcage (click to watch). ‘Desolation Angel’ turns stony hearts to goo (click to watch).
You want something demolishing? I know four lads who will bring their explosives and smash it to fuck…
Useful links & biz
Check out Mike’s solo project The Last Bee On Earth on soundcloud